a year ago
Admissions Advice

Ethnicity on Common App?

This is kind of a weird question, but I assumed it be best to get some clarity! For context, my parents were born in Nigeria and immigrated to the U.S. a few years before I was born, meaning that I’ve been an American citizen for the entirety of my life.

On the common app, after selecting black as my race, I’m torn between selecting African or U.S./African American (or potentially both) as being the best descriptor of my background. I wasn’t sure if the African-American label applies exclusively to ADOS, or just people who identify with being both African and American. I believe my background will be made clear on other parts of my application (my parents both have degrees from Nigerian universities which I will list on the common app), but I wanted to see which ethnicity option would be the most accurate for full transparency. Thank you in advance for any feedback!


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Accepted Answer
a year ago

So I don’t know if this is the correct answer but my answer is put yourself as African American as you are an American of African descent. In my mind an African is an international applicant applying to a US school. That isn’t you. I compare it to Chinese or Chinese American.

Also you aren’t a naturalized citizen so that just makes the easy decision easier.

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!


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